The Islamic calendar (639- ) or Hijra calendar is the one Muslims use for religious purposes. Unlike the Gregorian calendar in the West, it follows the moon, not the sun. That makes it terrible for farmers, so it has not caught on much beyond religious uses, though the Saudi Arabian government uses it and you do see it in historical writing. It comes from the old Arab calendar.
Today on different calendars:
- Islamic: Ramadan 17th 1437
- Gregorian: June 23rd 2016
- Byzantine: June 10th 7523
- Alexandrian: June 10th 7507
- Hebrew: Sivan 17th 5776
- Mayan: 22.214.171.124 (3 Tzec 10 Ahau)
- Discordian: Confusion 28th 3182
Some will tell you today is the 18th of Ramadan. More on that below.
The day begins at sunset. Some determine that as the moment when you can no longer see the difference between a black thread and a white thread.
The week is made up of seven days:
- al-Jum’ah – day of rest for many Muslims
- as-Sabt – same day as the Jewish Sabbath
The month is 29 to 30 days long. The 12 months are:
- Muharram – the 10th is Ashura (a big Shia holiday)
- Rabi al-Awwal – the 12th is the Prophet’s birthday (Sunni)
- Rabi ath-Thani
- Jumada al-Ula
- Jumada al-Akhirah
- Ramadan – the month of fasting
- Shawwal – the 1st is Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that breaks the fast.
- Dhu al-Qa’dah
- Dhu al-Hijjah – the month for the pilgrimage to Mecca
The month starts at the first crescent moon after sunset. There are different ways to determine that:
- A sighting by an authorized mosque. If not sighted after 29 days, due to weather or whatever, the new month will begin a day later.
- Astronomical calculations (which have headaches of their own).
- Using months with a set number of days, using an occasional leap day to keep it in line with the moon.
That means not all Muslims are necessarily on the same day, not even within the same time zone.
The year averages about 354 days, so Muslim holidays come about 11 days earlier each year on the Gregorian calendar.
The era: Years are marked with هـ in Arabic or AH in English. AH stands for Anno Hegirae, which is Latin for “in the year of the Hegira” – when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina. On the Gregorian calendar that took place in AD 622.
To convert between AD and AH you cannot simply add or subtract 622. That is because Islamic years are shorter. So you do it this way:
AH = 1.030684 x (AD − 621.5643)
AD = 0.970229 x AH + 621.5643
The year 20,875 will be the same on both calendars.
- 1 AH: Hegira
- 92 AH: the Arab Empire reaches Spain
- 145 AH: Baghdad founded
- 492 AH: Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders
- 548 AH: The world map of al-Idrisi
- 656 AH: Fall of Baghdad to the Mongols
- 726 AH: ibn Batuta in Alexandria
- 897 AH: Columbus lands in the Americas
- 899 AH: Babur becomes king.
- 971 AH: Shakespeare born
- 1190 AH: US born
- 1422 AH: 9/11
- 1424 AH: Fall of Baghdad to the Americans
- 1437 AH: I write this blog post.
On the Islamic calendar, 9/11 was on 6/22.
– Abagond, 2016.
- external links
- Gregorian calendar